Nigerian journalists charged with criminal defamation, breach of peace

Authorities should drop all charges against journalists Joe Ogbodu and Prince Amour Udemude, and reform Nigeria’s penal code to ensure that journalism is not criminalized, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 24, a magistrate court in Asaba, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Delta State, arraigned Ogbodu, an editor with the privately owned news website Big Pen Nigeria, and Udemude, a reporter with the privately owned National Mirror newspaper, on four counts of criminal defamation and one count of disturbing the peace, according to the journalists and a report by Big Pen Nigeria. Defamation and disturbing the…Read more

CPJ publishes 2019 Global Impunity Index

On 29 October, the Committee to Protect Journalists published an important document called "Getting Away With Murder". The 2019 Global Impunity Index highlights the growing problem of countries where journalists are slain but their killers go free. This important report can be accessed here and should be read by all journalists and those that believe in freedom of the media.Read more

Pakistan denies entry to CPJ program coordinator Steven Butler

Media and human rights groups including IFEX members condemn Pakistan's decision to prevent the entry of Steven Butler, who was scheduled to speak at a human rights conference  On 17 October the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler was refused entry into Pakistan, despite having a valid visa. Butler was told by airport authorities in Lahore that his document was voided because his name was “on a stop list of the Interior Ministry.” Butler was expected at the Asma Jahangir Conference, the largest annual gathering of human rights advocates in…Read more

Indian reporter who covers corruption beaten, left for dead

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an independent investigation into this week’s severe beating of a reporter in India’s east coast state of Andhra Pradesh who has repeatedly criticized a local legislator and the corruption associated with the state’s sand mafia. Those behind this attack, the third this journalist has received in as many years, must be identified, RSF said. Nagarjuna Reddy, who works for the local Telugu-language daily Neti Surya, was nearly killed in this latest assault, which occurred shortly after he left a police station in the town of Ongole on the…Read more

Singapore’s premier hounds website editor again

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to abandon his latest absurd complaint against Terry Xu, the editor of the independent news website The Online Citizen (TOC), and to stop deploying his army of lawyers against anyone who publishes news reports he doesn’t like. In what resembles David going into battle against Goliath, Terry Xufiled a “memorandum of appearance” with Singapore’s high court today in response to the summons issued against him five days ago on Lee’s behalf over a 15 August article. Xu’s filing means that he intends to defend himself…Read more

Pakistani TV reporter murdered for covering criminal gang

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an all-out investigation into the murder of Mirza Waseem Baig, a reporter for the 92 News TV channel, who was gunned down in the state of Punjab, in eastern Pakistan, after covering the activities of a criminal gang specializing in extortion. Based in Sarai Alamgir, 120 km southeast of Islamabad, Baig died while being taken to hospital after being shot six times at close range by three men outside his home on 30 August. The police officer in charge of the investigation, Ameer Abbas, told RSF that…Read more

CPJ concerned about Pakistan media court initiative

Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved an initiative to establish specialized courts aimed at resolving media-related issues, the government announced yesterday, according to news reports. The proposal drew swift condemnation on social media from human rights and press freedom organizations. “The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Pakistani authorities are moving forward with this vague plan to establish specialized media courts, despite an outcry from local journalists,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Instead, Pakistan needs to strengthen the nation’s democracy by freeing newspapers and broadcasters from the intense official pressures they already face.” The courts would…Read more

Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo charged with treason

Nigerian authorities should drop all charges against publisher Agba Jalingo, release him from detention, and stop using the country’s state security laws to harass government critics, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On August 30, federal authorities in southern Nigeria’s Cross River state charged Jalingo, the publisher of the privately owned news website CrossRiverWatch, with disturbance of public peace and treason for his writings and social media posts about Cross River Governor Benedict Ayade, according to a copy of the charge sheet reviewed by CPJ and Attah Ochinke, the journalist’s lawyer, who spoke to…Read more

Singapore prime minister threatens to sue The Online Citizen for libel

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong should drop his legal threat against news website The Online Citizen and cease his government’s long-running legal harassment of independent media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. On September 1, Lee’s press secretary, Chang Li Lin, sent a letter to The Online Citizen’s chief editor, Terry Xu, threatening to file libel charges if he did not retract an article about Lee’s allegedly strained relationship with his siblings from the outlet’s website and Facebook page and publish an unconditional apology by September 4, according to news reports citing the letter. Xu told CPJ via…Read more

Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo detained since August 22 without charge

Nigerian authorities should immediately release publisher Agba Jalingo and halt their harassment of journalists reporting on alleged corruption and other issues of public interest, said the Committee to Protect Journalists. On August 22, in Lagos, police officers with Nigeria’s special anti-robbery squad arrested Jalingo, publisher of online news outlet CrossRiverWatch, according to Attah Ochinke, Jalingo’s lawyer, and Jeremiah Achibong, an editor at CrossRiverWatch, who spoke with CPJ over the phone. On August 23, authorities transferred Jalingo to a detention facility run by the anti-cult and anti-kidnapping police in Calabar, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Cross…Read more